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The Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play: What Went Wrong (and Safe Sleep Alternatives)

If you haven’t heard the news in the last couple of days, Fisher Price has officially recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘N Plays.

You’re probably asking “why?” since most moms highly recommended and swear by this device for happy, sleeping newborns, myself included at one point. 

Well, the Rock ‘N Play ‘sleeper’ was the reason behind 30 or more infant deaths over the last 10 years. It doesn’t seem like a lot when you compare it to the millions that have been sold, however, according to the CDC, suffocation is the number one reason for infant death before the age of 1, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.

So, what makes them unsafe?

Inclined sleep surfaces, like the Rock ‘N Play, are considered unsafe for infants because they can wiggle down and their airways can become closed off, even if you strap them in and are monitoring them closely. This also applies to infants sleeping in places such as car seats that are not properly installed, swings, and bouncy seats.

The Rock ‘N Play was a mom favorite, so what do you do now that it’s been recalled?

1. Crib 

It’s pretty much the number one must-have when you find out you’re pregnant. Your crib should be bare with no bedding, except a snugly fitted sheet and a firm mattress. There’s no need for any crib bumpers. Even the mesh bumpers present a suffocation and strangulation hazard for both infants and toddlers. Your baby may not sleep in the crib for the first few months of his or her life, so it’s best to consider having a more portable option, like a bassinet, for nighttime sleep. 

2. Bassinet 

A bassinet is perfect for those early stages of newborn life, when you’re waking up all hours of the night. Bassinets are considered safe because they have been sleep tested and held to higher standards than baby gear like the rock and play. They are also a flat and firm surface, which is the ideal situation for infant sleep. My favorite bassinets are the HALO bassinet, the Chicco Lullago (it’s portable!), and if your budget allows it, the SNOO.

3. Pack and Play 

The pack and play is another great option for your infant to sleep in! They are easy to fold up and put away as needed, and you can easily fit them in your bedroom so you’re not having to get up and walk to a nursery every night. 

 

Image Courtesy of Shepard’s Watch

The end of the Rock ‘N Play does not have to mean the end of sleep for parents around the country! With proper sleep training and safe sleep areas, baby and mom can all get a good night’s rest. 

*If you have purchased a Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play, please do not sell it in any third party marketplaces. This item has been recalled because it is considered unsafe. Fisher Price is offering refunds if you contact them through their customer service hotline.*

 

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